Pin And Ridged Joints In Steel Frame Construction. Show Me


This article discusses the important role of joint detailing in steel structure construction, specifically focusing on nominally pinned joints used in multi-storey braced frames. Pin-jointed frames require bracing in both vertical and horizontal directions for stability. Common structural shapes and members used in building materials are also explained. The article goes on to describe a specific type of pin and hinge steel column connection that allows for rotation. Overall, the commitment to research, design, and construction of steel connections has allowed for the success of various structural projects worldwide.

In steel frame construction, pin and rigid joints are essential components in ensuring the stability and load-bearing capacity of the structures. Here's a detailed comparison along with diagrams for both types, as well as their uses, advantages, and disadvantages:

Pin Joint:

  • Diagram: Link to Diagram - Nominated as Pinned Joint in Steel Frames
  • Use: Pin joints, also known as nominally pinned joints, are often employed in multi-storey braced frames to allow rotational flexibility and sharing of forces between structural members.
  • Advantages:
    • Allows rotational movement, necessary for accommodating thermal expansion and contraction.
    • Suitable for braced frames, as they enable the transfer of both vertical and horizontal forces while maintaining stability.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Susceptible to the effects of in-plane and out-of-plane buckling, requiring careful consideration in design and analysis.

Rigid Joint:

  • Diagram: Link to Diagram - Rigid Joint in Steel Frames
  • Use: Rigid joints, or moment-resisting connections, are employed in steel frames where stiffness and minimal deflection are required, often in high-rise or long-span structures.
  • Advantages:
    • Provides resistance to rotation, maintaining structural integrity and preventing excessive sway.
    • Offers high bearing capacity, reducing the need for additional bracing and supports.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Limited flexibility in accommodating thermal movements, which may lead to stress concentrations in the structure.


  • Function:
    • Pin Joint: Allows rotational movement and sharing of forces.
    • Rigid Joint: Provides resistance to rotation and ensures stiffness.
  • Application:
    • Pin Joint: Commonly used in multi-storey braced frames.
    • Rigid Joint: Employed in high-rise or long-span structures.
  • Advantages:
    • Pin Joint: Accommodates thermal expansion, suitable for braced frames.
    • Rigid Joint: Maintains structural integrity, offers high bearing capacity.
  • Disadvantages:
    • Pin Joint: Susceptible to buckling effects, requires careful design.
    • Rigid Joint: Limited flexibility in accommodating thermal movements.

These joints play a crucial role in the overall stability and performance of steel structures, and their selection depends on the specific structural requirements and load conditions.

Steel Structure connection pin or fixed - Engineering Stack ExchangeSimple connections -

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